As I said on Monday, We have about 15 chickens in the chicken house right now and during peak egg season that amounts to about a dozen eggs a day! As we’ve downsized, marketing our eggs has been less of a priority and we’ve focused on using them up, or giving them away. Our last post talked about ways to save those eggs for your own family’s use. But farm fresh eggs can provide huge nutritional value to families that struggle to put food on the table! This post is about some ways you can connect with needy folks in your community to share your egg abundance.
Contact Your Local Elementary School
I would suggest focusing on lower schools because older students might be embarrassed to be seen carrying around egg cartons. Elementary school kids think it’s cool–especially if you give them a “rainbow” of white, brown, and even blue eggs.
Start by giving the Principal or Guidance Counselor a call. A lot of schools already run food programs, and they’ll either be able to add your eggs to food bags already going home, or they’ll be able to connect you directly with families in need. Your child’s teacher might be another good source of contacts. She probably knows who gets a good meal at home and who doesn’t.
Contact Your Local Social Services Offices
Local social workers have direct daily relationships with families that would benefit from your farm-fresh eggs. I’m sure there are privacy requirements, so I would suggest calling your local office and asking for a brief appointment with the supervisor or director to float some ideas. Their passion is for helping local people, so I’m sure they’d love to work with you if they can! I can imagine several different scenarios that you could suggest:
- Bringing eggs regularly to the office so workers could offer them to visitors.
- Bringing eggs regularly to the office so workers could deliver them while making required home visits.
- Bringing eggs regularly to the office so workers could provide them to foster families.
- Asking for direct contact with local families in need or foster families that might benefit, and build a direct relationship with them.
Contact Your Local Churches and Food Banks
Normally these type of arrangements only allow for non-perishable products. However, if an organization makes deliveries, or if you could know the specific day and time the church food pantry is open for pick-up, you could be there with fresh eggs to offer folks.
Churches might also be able to put you in direct contact with bus program families or elderly citizens that could benefit. Most churches visit local families regularly and might be willing to take some eggs along as a love offering. (Oh, and don’t forget to offer some to the Pastor’s family!!)
You could also look up local missions or shelters that provide food and dormitory facilities. If you coordinate with the manager, you could probably make regular, scheduled, deliveries of extra eggs to help provide fresh food to residents.
Contact Your Local Senior Centers
A lot of seniors, especially in rural communities, can remember the days of farm fresh food and will truly relish and appreciate your gift! Senior recreation centers or senior clubs and groups in libraries, etc. can be a great place just to post a notice and reach a couple folks directly. You’ll be supplying great nutrition, as well as helping stretch their fixed income dollars.
Contact Your Local Civic Groups
Local chapters of the Ruritans, Jaycees, VFW, Lions Club…these small groups are the heartbeat of your community. Ask if you could give a short presentation on the nutritional benefits of farm fresh food and pasture-raised eggs at one of their meetings. Then send around a sign-up sheet for anyone that would be interested in taking a dozen free eggs to a needy family they know. Now you have a list of helping hands to disburse your abundance!
Contact Your Local Children’s’ or Veterans’ Hospital
Yes, any hospital would work. I’m specifically thinking of hospitals with residential programs attached. When my grandpa had surgery at the Veterans Hospital, they had a wonderful residential dormitory facility for my grandma to stay in nearby. It had a full kitchen for guest to use while they were there, but they had to supply their own food.
What a blessing for tired family members to be able to come in after a long, miserable day at the hospital eating from the snack machines and grab a granola bar before bed…NOT.
But what if they could throw together some fresh scrambled eggs or an omelet–without having to go grocery shopping in a strange city or worry about whether the fresh food will spoil if they get discharged early? That would be a blessing!
Of course, you could add an overflow of fresh garden produce to any of these scenarios as well and the community benefit only increase! And be sure to include your farm kids in the planning, outreach, and delivery–nothing teaches community service like actually doing community service!
Do you have any other ideas?